Lintons Provides Free, Ready-to-Heat Meals for All Children in the Community
COVID-19 has inspired us to think outside the box in order to continue serving our communities and students. Most schools are educating their students virtually, or at least in a hybrid model where the children are only in the building for a partial school week. The standard offering has been bagged, cold meals for families to pick up and for the students to consume at home. However, the Lintons team in Allentown was given a very basic idea from Steve Flavell, COO of Executive Education Academy Charter School, that challenged us to develop a process to provide ready-to-heat meals to families during this time. Mr. Flavell said “It is important to us that we take care of our students. Research shows that students need a nutritious meal to perform better. The Lintons team at Executive Education has always supported our vision with food services, and we are providing families nutritious ready to heat meals for the week.”
With the school year approaching, a team led by District Leader Allison Davis and Food Service Director Jessica Finocchio asked themselves “Why can’t we provide a nutritious, hot meal that is student friendly and also cost effective?” They consulted with Edie Melvin, a District Leader with 25 years of experience with Lintons, for some guidance. “We reached out to her because Edie has many years of experience providing programs with a similar meal style” said Allison. Edie offered her expertise on products, costs, and operational best practices. We constructed a cost-effective menu that included student favorites such as chicken nuggets, burgers, meatballs, and pizza crunchers. We paired them with a healthy veggie, then, utilizing heat-sealing technology, individually sealed each tray. The packaging is clean, eye-catching, and extremely easy to reheat.
In less than a month, participation in the meal program at Executive Education increased 30%. The feedback from the families being served has been great. Due to the Seamless Summer Option (SSO), which allows schools to serve their students and children under the age of 18, everyone wins. The children are enjoying the meals and parents are able to supplement their weekly grocery purchases. Lintons Food Service Management is honored to be part of this program and serve the community during this difficult time.